The Keys of Hell and Death

The Keys of Hell and Death is a novel by Charles Cordell, the second in the English Civil War historical fiction series Divided Kingdom.

The Keys of Hell and Death - an English Civil War novel by Charles Cordell
The Keys of Hell and Death novel

The Keys of Hell and Death

From the brutal Battle of Lansdown Hill, via the Siege of Devizes and Roundway Down to the Storming of Bristol in 1643, book #2 of the Divided Kingdom series takes some of the characters of God’s Vindictive Wrath to the edge of Hell and drags others into the Civil War that racks Britain. All must face the brutal reality of war. This story is not based on a single hero. It does not take sides. Its voices – ordinary men and women – fight to save England in the chaos that is the 17th Century.

Praise for The Keys of Hell and Death:

The Keys of Hell and Death is available to pre-order online as a paperback or Kindle ebook. The paperback cover price (RRP) is £8.99 (US$9.97). The Amazon Kindle price is £5.48 (US$6.59). However, retail prices do vary.

You can buy this book online at Waterstones, Blackwells, Foyles and WHSmith, as well as good independent bookshops. If you have the time, please do support your local bookshop by visiting and asking for a copy, or order via their website at:

Alternatively, click to order online for dispatch to UK, USA, CAN, AUS, NZ, SA, EU and international addresses at:

The Keys of Hell and Death will be published by Myrmidon, in English, on 4 June 2024 under ISBN: 978-1910183335.

Preview – Read First Chapters – FREE

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Endorsements for The Keys of Hell and Death

‘Heart-pounding action, heartbreaking loss as a nation tears itself apart. You can smell the sweat of fear. … Knife edge sharp scholarly knowledge combined with the skill of a natural storyteller. The depth of insight and research makes The Keys of Hell and Death vividly rich in historical detail. Not to be missed.’ David Gilman, award-winning author of the Master of War series, The Last Horseman and The Englishman

‘I have been waiting for this second novel in Charles Cordell’s series, and am not disappointed. Once more he evokes the experience of the Civil War soldier, in every branch of arms, more vividly than ever before, and gives us characters whom we are eager to follow through the story.’ Professor Ronald Hutton CBE FRHistS FSA FLSW FBA

‘From page 1 Cordell plunges you into the fast-flowing battlefields of 1643, full of fear, tension and the relief of surviving. He brilliantly captures the plight of soldiers in realistic detail in and around battle.’ General Richard Nugee CB CVO CBE

‘Charles Cordell’s second book maintains the same level of well-researched detail that we’ve come to expect. The characters on both sides of the conflict are believable, and the fast-paced and brutal nature of the conflict immerses you in the smoke, blood, and smell of burnt powder and death. The author seamlessly transitions between both sides almost in real-time. A remarkable and unique talent, Charles Cordell holds his reader transfixed in a book that simply cannot be put down.’ Jeremy Ravenshaw Fowler, Adjutant General of The Sealed Knot Society

Critical Reviews of God’s Vindictive Wrath

‘Charles Cordell, a former soldier, writes with bravura confidence.’ Antonia SeniorThe Times

”Visceral’ historical fiction.’ The Bookseller

‘An exciting minute-by-minute story of the English Civil War … from the soldiers’ point of view … the historical accuracy is fantastic … the storyline and the writing style tremendously exciting.’ Historical Novel Review

‘This book charged into my memory and dreams – it is VIVID! … you can smell it … original, interesting, entertaining, thought-provoking – an excellent read.’ Dr Beth Rogers, John Hampden Society

‘Quite outstanding – historical fiction at its very best.’ General Stuart Skeates CB CBE

Readers’ Reviews and Ratings

Readers’ reviews are posted on the God’s Vindictive Wrath pages at Goodreads and at Amazon UK, including:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘Brutally realistic’

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘Visceral and exciting’

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘New, different and good’

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘A fantastic read, gripping and thought provoking’

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘Original and insightful … easily the most enjoyable book I have read this year.’

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘Read it and you will never again be able to pass through an unassuming English town without wondering about violent secrets in the past.’

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘For years, my favourite novelisation of battle was Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize winning account of Gettysburg – Killer Angels. But this is better.’

If you enjoy reading The Keys of Hell and Death, please do post your own review. Positive reviews are really important to new authors. Without them there is little chance of being published again. The best place you can do this is via your bookshop website, Amazon or Goodreads. I really hope you will enjoy and want to read more of the Divided Kingdom series.

Divided Kingdom Characters, Historical Notes & Maps

I hope you will get to know all of the Divided Kingdom characters. This website includes character notes on each of them. You will find historical notes and maps to accompany their story at Notes and Maps (following publication). These include background articles on The General Crisis of the 17th Century, the English Revolution and Great Rebellion, and Pike and Shot Warfare, as well as notes to accompany the text on the battles of Edgehill, Aylesbury and Brentford.

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